Thursday, February 11, 2016

Democratic Debate: Live Blog

Prologue:  The latest knock against 'feeling the Bern' is that he is way behind Clinton in support from minorities.   Is it too gauche for US Person to suggest some non-white bigotry is responsible for the polls showing less support among blacks for a candidate [chart] whose socialist economic policies are much more supportive of their plight than Hillary Clinton's will ever be?  Bernie Sanders is after all, the first Jewish candidate to win a presidential primary election.  Prejudice against Jews in  urban black communities is deep seated. In the ghettos Jews were often the local icon of 'the man'--owner of the corner store or the tenement landlord. Jesse Jackson's infamous referral to New York City as "Jew Town" touched a deep discord that still exists.  Senator Sanders will try and focus his remarks on social justice to win minority support that is critical to a general election victory in the Wisconsin debate without appearing to pander to yet another special interest within the confines of the Democratic Party label.
credit: Washington Post-ABC News

18:07PST Senator Sanders opening remarks succinctly sum up what this election cycle should be about: fundamentally changing the structures of government and politics to address the increasing unfairness and inequality of American society. How an establishment candidate like Hillary Clinton can achieve fundamental reform while leading change that would directly impact vested interests is not clear. 

6:15PST Conservatives and moderate liberals love to talk about the size of government, yet they never acknowledge the ever increasing size of the Pentagon and its budget.  It is the unspoken rule apparently that the Pentagon can never be reduced in size to pay for other forms of government service. The Pentagon has embarked on a program to spend $700billioin  modernizing nuclear weapons instead of providing free college education for anyone who want one.  America's competitiveness cannot be insured with guns but with a educated work force.

6:27 PST No one doubts Ms. Clinton's support for women's rights.  The women of New Hampshire understood that the problems facing American society go beyond gender.  Bernie Sanders is also a member of a minority.

632 PST  Answer: provide economic opportunities, reform laws that incarcerate people for minor drug offenses, focus on treatment for drug addiction not incarceration, and take big business out of the business of building prisons and staffing them. 

6:39PST  Obama disappointed a lot of Americans, black and white, with his incremental approach to governing. ("No He Can't")

6:52PST   How do you know a fascist?  Look at his immigration policies.  America is a nation of immigrants it should not really matter when you arrived.

6:56PST  Another reason US Person support Bernie Sanders: lifting the wage cap on social security tax so benefits can be increased to a realistic level.

7:05PST  Do we have Glass-Seagall back?  Is Blankfein doing time?  NO.  Is Morgan Stanley paying a minute fine for knowingly granting mortgages to borrowers without incomes? Seems like a quid pro quo to this commentator.

7:17PST  Here are three letters for you to begin with Senator Sanders:  F:35.  Weapons procurement continues to be the one sector of government where cost overruns are endemic.  The fighter is now so expensive even our allies cannot afford to buy it.

7:25PST  Nice reward for playing team ball, Ms. Secretary.  
Here's a complaint about teammate Henry Kissinger that the Senator was too polite to mention: he was instrumental in instigating the coup that assassinated Chile's democratically elected socialist President Salvador Allende.

7:45PST  Mahatma Ghandi. Caesar Chavez. Both leaders who gave the final measure in pursuit of their goal of a better life for their countrymen.

7:52PST  A government for the people, by the people and of the people so that it may not perish from the face of Earth. 

Epilogue:  Citizens United has made a mockery of our political system; even the case name is a obvious rebuke to citizens who have given up on the system.  Bernie Sanders is offering to help us get rid of the heavy yoke of corporatism.  At least he is willing to try. It is a testament to the resiliency of our system that there is a Bernie Sanders to stand up and say what needs to be done. Hillary Clinton seems satisfied with tweaking the status quo.  Yes, America is not Europe and Henry Kissinger may be a war criminal, but there is nothing in our laws that would prevent us from adopting a more efficient means of healthcare, one that is not driven solely by profit.  A simple start could be made by passing a single payer option for the current system that got lost in the onslaught of insurance lobbyists.  Ms. Clinton implausibly wants to work with reactionaries in Congress that are still trying to undo the limited progress made under the Affordable Health Care Act. Governors that are unwilling to open their public colleges and universities to free higher education can be replaced.  The Supreme Court when properly staffed can overturn bad case law.  Only fear and trepidation holds us back. Never mind, on to Flint, MI where people are dying of lead poisoning and bad government.